Zero Trust

Common Challenges

Organizations in government and industry must overcome an array of challenges to implement a zero trust architecture. Here are a few examples:

Legacy Infrastructure
Legacy Infrastructure

A patchwork of cloud environment and legacy IT infrastructure creates many vulnerabilities. In addition, security is often an afterthought in digital modernization efforts.

Data Management
Data Management

Organizations must figure out how to discover, classify and tag their data before they can enable restricted access based on approved policies.

Identity Management
Identity Management

Getting identity management right is critical for enabling all zero trust principles. In addition, strong authentication and robust attributes are needed to apply conditional access.

Lots and Lots of Logs
Lots and Lots of Logs

Zero trust’s focus on continuous monitoring results in large amount of log collection, which could overwhelm relatively small security teams. Organizations need to handle all that data smartly and efficiently.

Booz Allen’s Approach



We show clients how to use the seven pillars of zero trust and governance to elevate security and demonstrate increased maturity step by step with our zero trust maturity assessment model. The model lets organizations rate their capabilities in all seven zero trust dimensions using five maturity levels.



The assessment arms organizations with a threat-centric understanding of their strengths and challenges in the context of zero trust, current tools, and capabilities, considering the key missions, strategic priorities, emerging threats, and the organization’s risk appetite.

Zero Trust Architecture Roadmaps

Zero Trust Architecture Roadmaps

Evaluating the current state of an enterprise's capabilities and gaps allows the security team to weigh priorities and create pillar-specific roadmaps. Not all entities necessarily need to achieve the highest level of maturity in all areas: Every organization is unique.

Tailored Implementation

Tailored Implementation

We help clients craft tailored implementation guidance to achieve measurable improvement over time. For instance, organizations can work toward deploying comprehensive security monitoring, granular dynamic risk-based access controls, and system security automation in a coordinated way throughout the infrastructure.

The 7 Pillars of Zero Trust

The seven zero trust pillars are aligned with the Department of Defense (DOD) zero trust reference architecture and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) maturity model.

Seven Pillars of Zero Trust


Use identity, credential, and access management (e.g., multifactor authentication)


Use real-time inspection, assessment, and patching of devices to inform every access request

Applications & Workloads

Secure application and workload development, access, and operation


Isolate and control the network environment with segmentation and firewalls


Use end-to-end encryption, data rights management, and data tagging to protect data

Visibility & Analytics

Improve detection and reaction time, enabling real-time access decisions

Automation & Orchestration

Quarantine and/or terminate anomalous activity based on defined processes

Maturity Levels: Elevating Your Security by Design

Our maturity assessment model enables enterprises to focus their improvement step by step, from initial practices toward leading capabilities for each of the seven pillars of zero trust. Click on each of the seven pillars below to learn about the activities associated with each level of maturity.

  • Leading: Contextual Access to Device, Network, Apps & Data
  • Innovative: Granular Access Control
  • Basic: Privilege Access Management
  • Minimal: Password Management, Multi-factor authentication, Single Sign On
  • Initial: Account Discovery & Modeling
  • Leading: Hardware Root of Trust & Host and Runtime integrity
  • Innovative: C2C/C2R & Conditional Access
  • Basic: Virtualization Security
  • Minimal: Asset Baseline
  • Initial: Asset Discovery & Modeling
  • Leading: End to End Segmentation
  • Innovative: Identity Aware Network Micro-segmentation
  • Basic: Network Micro-segmentation
  • Minimal: Network Maco-segmentation
  • Initial: Physical Security Measures & Network Flow Mapping
Applications & Workloads
  • Leading: Process & Container Security
  • Innovative: Multi-factor Authentication & Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) Enabled Applications
  • Basic: Application Micro-segmentation
  • Minimal: DevSecOps
  • Initial: Application & Workload Discovery & Modeling
  • Leading: Data Loss Prevention
  • Innovative: Encryption & Data Rights Management
  • Basic: Data Tagging/Labeling
  • Minimal: Data Classification
  • Initial: Data Discovery & Modeling
Visibility & Analytics
  • Leading: AI/ML-Powered Analytics
  • Innovative: Threat Intelligence Enrichment
  • Basic: Unified/Federated SIEM & Traditional Analytics
  • Minimal: Log Normalization
  • Initial: Log Identification
Automation & Orchestration
  • Leading: Analytics-Drive SOAR
  • Innovative: Basic SOAR
  • Basic: Task & Workflow Automation
  • Minimal: Non-Security A&O
  • Initial: Defined Security Processes

Building Mission-Driven 5G Security with

Zero Trust

National security missions must overcome risks around untrusted technology in a hyperconnected world. To shield sensitive data through these challenges, the Department of Defense is urging its senior leaders, engineers, and operators, to embrace a “zero trust” security mindset.

4 Steps to Securing Critical Data

Moving to a zero trust architecture can be overwhelming for organizations. They must not only assess their current cybersecurity posture but also determine where and when to modernize the infrastructure and capabilities to best secure their critical data. Booz Allen recommends the following four-step approach to identifying and deploying new cybersecurity solutions to move to a zero trust architecture:

1. Diagnose

Identify current IT capabilities and roadmaps covering the zero trust focus areas described by DOD, NSA, CISA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Conduct a zero trust maturity assessment across the seven pillars to obtain objective insights into your organization’s strengths and improvement areas.

3. Develop

Test new configurations, integrations, and solutions in a lab environment. Conduct proof-of-concept trials of new technologies with a limited user set and develop migration and implementation plans.

2. Design

Create a zero trust strategy, identifying solutions to close critical gaps identified during the diagnose phase. The overarching strategy spans the zero trust pillars, provides a unified target state and a multiyear roadmap, and prioritizes the development of strong governance policies that drive enforcement of conditional access.

4. Deploy

Reconfigure existing systems using validated implementation plans. Install and integrate new solutions to close capability gaps. Migrate users to new solutions and conduct continuous monitoring.

How to Design and Develop Your Zero Trust Program

Understanding your organization’s position on the zero trust spectrum empowers you to set targets and implement solutions that drive down operational risk. Download the factsheet below to learn how maturity assessment frameworks can strengthen your zero trust architecture.

Zero Trust in the Cloud

Adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud environments help organizations modernize but also increases the attack surface that an organization now must need to protect. We work with leading cloud service providers to provide clients the zero trust solutions they need to achieve mission objectives. This includes implementing secure remote conditional access solutions, using federated identify to verify user information, and deploying solutions that provide continuous risk monitoring through prevention, detection, response, and prediction.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are the principles of zero trust?

There are three principles of zero trust: assume a breach; never trust, always
verify; and allow only least-privileged access based on contextual factors.

What is zero trust about?

Embracing zero trust is about stepping up and owning the risk that threats can emerge inside, not just outside, traditional network boundaries—and it’s about proactively countering these risks.

Are there deadlines for implementing zero trust?

Yes. Based on Executive Order 14028 and the federal zero trust strategy, agencies must achieve specific zero trust security objectives by the end of fiscal year 2024.

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